Body Language and the Art of Power Posing

Discussions in COMM11003 Term 1, 2015

In week one we spoke about communication in relation to human interaction and the various ways we do it. I particularly found body language an interesting concept. It can be defined as ‘the physical behavior of our bodies – eye contact, posture, gesture, and orientation. (Eunsun 2012 p.256)

Different researches proved that just over half of what you communicate to someone is through the silent transaction that is body language. 55% to be exact. This prompted me to be conscious of the body language I was presenting. What I relay via my person: namely the way I was standing, my posture, my facial expression, and the way I moved my body is all a valid channel of communication.

In a study conducted by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, people were instructed to alter their body language by posing in a high power stance (fig 1. extending their body and taking up a lot of physical space + fig 2. shoulders back and head firmly up)

Its results proved ‘standing or sitting a certain way, even for two minutes, raises testosterone levels and lowers the stress hormone cortisol’ Cuddy attests

‘making yourself big for just two minutes before a meeting changes the brain in ways that build[s] courage, reduce[s] anxiety and inspire[s] leadership’

According to Dr. Mark Knapp, body language is more ‘spontaneous and harder to fake’ proving to be a more accurate medium of communication. Supposing body language is more than half of what your audience interprets, it is apparent that in order to communicate effectively and send the correct message, individuals need to consider and be mindful of their body language and what information their body is expressing to the world.

Please see below or link for more interesting facts on body language

Ted Talks 2012 Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language shapes who you are, video, June 2012, viewed 17th March 2015




Cuddy A, Wilmuth C, Yap A, and Carney D 2015 ‘Preparatory Power Posing Affects Nonverbal Presence and Job Interview Performance’ Volume 1 p1

Eunson B. 2012. Communicating in the 21st Century (3rd Edition) Wiley. Milton, Queensland, Australia.

Hochman, D 2014 ‘Amy Cuddy takes a Stand’ New York Times, 19 September, viewed 17 March 2015

Knapp M 2002 ‘Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction’ 5th Edition p 17

Patel, Dipika S. 2014 ‘Body Language: An Effective Communication Tool’, Vol. 9 Issue 2, p 91

Robinson M 2014 ‘8 Power Poses That Will Make You More Successful At Work’ Business Insider Australia, 2 April 2014, viewed 17 March 2015

Ted Talks 2012 Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language shapes who you are, video, June 2012, viewed 17th March 2015




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